[Lesson] Latin in the Reformation

January 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

Subject: World History
Topic: The Reformation
Purpose: To get students to experience why so many believed it was important to pray, read the Bible and perform church services in their own language instead of in Latin.

This is a fairly simple, yet quite powerful lesson utilizing media. All you need is any DVD with both an English and a foreign language track. It is especially helpful if that foreign language is uncommon in your community. For my purposes I use Madagascar which has a language track in French.

Prior to the lesson create a “quiz” about a short section of the movie. I used a 5 minute section with 5 questions and that seemed to make the point fine. However, I added to this by speaking in French myself. If you are not going to use the foreign language in your own instructions perhaps a longer segment and quiz would help. Translate the quiz into the language of the clip you are going to show. Google’s language translator is sufficient for this as even if it has some minor grammatical errors students won’t know and the point of the lesson is unaffected.

When the lesson begins handout the quiz in the foreign language without explaining why. Put a slide on the screen giving instructions on how to take the quiz, again this should be in the foreign language. If students question you emphatically deny that there is any problem and that this is simply how things are done. It is especially helpful if you give your explanation in a foreign language as well (even one you make up on the spot can work just fine.) If you happen to speak Latin, by all means use that! Do not use English if at all possible. You are better off not speaking at all and just shrugging as if you don’t understand their questions.

Show the clip in the foreign language. I feel that it helps to show a clip from a movie most kids are familiar with. Though the mass was in Latin it was still a familiar setting and message to the people. After the clip is over they are to do the quiz. The blank stares and exasperation you’ll get are priceless. Once everyone has finished (or sufficient time has passed) show the same movie clip again but this time flip the language track back to English. Then have students retake the quiz in English. Grade the quizzes and have students compare their results. Invariably they will have done better on the English quiz.

This then leads into a discussion of the important of the use of the common language in the church.


Entry filed under: Movies.

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